goPP6VOpIaYWFikr6U97yAllSC--YKnVPNAy1itMDqoAtlanta Streets Alive is returning to its most popular route on Sept. 27 and thousands are expected to bike, skateboard and walk the 4.5 mile loop through Virginia-Highland, Atkins Park, Poncey-Highland, Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward.

North Highland Avenue, Highland Avenue, Boulevard and North Avenue will all be closed to vehicle traffic from 2 to 6 p.m. Rebecca Serna, president of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, which organizes the event, said 80,000 people are expected this year. Although, if the weather is good, that number could top 100,000 like last year.

This Atlanta Streets Alive will also emphasize “tactical urbanism,” Serna said, where volunteers and local organizations make inexpensive, quick improvements to the neighborhood during the afternoon. A temporary bus stop was built during the spring edition of Atlanta Streets Alive in West End (which still drew a decent crowd despite rain and a tornado warning).

There will also be “pop up bike lanes” along Highland to help ease the flow of traffic between those on wheels and pedestrians. The annual Bicycle Parade will also be held and event sponsor REI will set up its REI Village with tents, chairs, photo book, bike mechanic and a climbing wall.

There will be plenty of food, demonstrations and activities along the route. The National Street Summit will be in town that same weekend, with organizers from around the world learning how to create “open streets,” and there will also be promotion on the forthcoming Bike Share program in Atlanta.

Atlanta Streets Alive recently received a $250,000 grant from the city and plans to add a fourth event in 2016, Serna said.

The final event for the year will be held on Oct. 25 on Peachtree Street from Midtown to Downtown.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.